Rider Connect from Bit of Britain: Alex Martini

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Rider Connect from Bit of Britain: Alex Martini

Today’s featured rider is Alex Martini, a professional rider from North Carolina.

If you would like to be featured in Rider Connect, email me.

 

Get to know Alex
I’m 27 and ride professionally. I am from Barrington, Illinois originally but have lived in Southern Pines, NC for a number of years now. I started riding at age five because my family all rode and have stuck with it all these years! I have produced multiple horses up through the CCI2* level and plan to continue to move up the levels.

Alex’s horse power
I have a few really neat horses currently. My main horse, Goldpower or “Goldfish” as well call him in the barn is a 6-year-old Dutch Warmblood currently going Training level. He is a big dog, very people oriented and personable. He does tricks for cookies as well. I have my retired Young Rider horse, who rules the roost and has become somewhat feral these days! I also have a number of young horses in training as well as sale horses. It’s a nice mix of different ages and levels which keeps things interesting.

Training
I train with Danielle Ackley, who is excellent. She originates from a hunter/jumper background which has really helped improve my equitation! Since I am based in the South we mainly compete in the spring and fall due to the heat. There are a lot of local schooling shows throughout the summer for the young horses so, for the most part, I am busy year round. I do try to take a small break over the winter holidays when things quiet down.

 


 

Influence and inspiration
I rode with Marc Donovan for years before he began designing courses full time. I would say he has been one of the most influential people in my career. He is incredibly kind to the horses and is a beautiful rider. I also grew up riding with Allison Springer – we are both from Barrington, Illinois. She taught me as a Pony Clubber and it’s been really neat to follow her career as she has become such a household name. She is such a phenomenal rider as well as a real horsewoman.

Most embarrassing Eventing moment
Oh gosh, so many… I was a working student for Doug Payne a while back and fell off in my first lesson. That was a great start haha! He is super laid back and got a kick out of it, however, I was not so thrilled.

Most triumphant Eventing moment
There have been a lot of good moments, particularly when a green horse begins to figure out their job or really begins to trust you. On a personal note, I have had five open heart surgeries due to being born with a congenital heart defect. My last surgery was two years ago and it has taken a very long time to be back into the full swing of things. I think making a full recovery and having the opportunity to be back out competing has been really exciting. I had to sell my last upper-level horse due to health issues so I am looking forward to producing another horse back up to the two-star level and hopefully further.

2018 milestones
I have taken a lot of time this spring solidifying my relationship with Goldfish. I took a step back from competing him and focused instead on getting his basics really solid. I think this will make a huge difference in terms of competing and moving forward with his career. It’s been nice to not feel like I am only prepping him for the next event, but actually taking the time necessary to get him strong, confident, and understanding some of the more technical aspects of the sport. I feel like I have learned a lot about him recently and am really looking forward to getting him back out in the near future.

Best of luck this year Alex! 

 

If you would like to be featured in Rider Connect, email me

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